Thursday, October 28, 2010

The lost has been found!

And to be honest, I'm not sure if I was the one that left it between the couch cushions under a pillow in the front living room (which I could see myself doing to put it out of sight), or if my little "Curious Gage" is the culprit...?

All I know is this is the last picture taken on the camera...

Monday, October 25, 2010

Where, oh where, could you be?

O camera, my camera, where art thou?

I have pictures to post (ie. Eli's 10 month shots) and pictures to take...

Where oh where could... my little boy have put you?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

10 Months Old!

Dear Eli,

You are now 10 months old bud! I keep thinking that in two short months you will be ONE year old! We love watching you grow and change. I hope you are always as cuddly and smiley as you are right now! Those big blue eyes of yours gets a lot of attention! You like to flirt with the ladies in the grocery store and with anyone that comes over too. You play a little bashful at first, which is just as cute, as you give sideways glances and slow smiles. Oh you are a heart-melter!

We keep thinking that any day now you are going to crawl! You get on your hands and knees and rock back and forth and then...fall to your belly! Then you will get back up again and start moving backwards! You will eventually get stuck as you back up to the couch or something else. I found out that you can sit up from laying down yesterday when I went to get you from your crib and you were sitting up with your little feet sticking through the rungs! Daddy went in this morning and you were sitting up in the corner of your crib. You are moving and shaking little man!

You have a mouthful of teeth! Four on the bottom and four on the top. You are still teething right now it seems, as you are drooling a lot and a little fussy. So I did something I didn't want to do...I bought larger pacifiers for you! I was hoping that you were outgrowing them and didn't need them anymore but they are comforting and helpful to you right now so we are giving in.

You are still eating mostly Gerber baby food. When we try anything else like crackers or scrambled eggs you gag terribly. You do like yogurt and can handle a Ritz cracker now and then. You love the Gerber puffs and you do so well picking them up one by one from your tray.

You absolutely love Gage's sippy cups! You will steal one from him any chance you get. He's a pretty nice big brother and lets you have it. I love watching you two interact! You are so happy when he's around you, and he likes to pat your head and bring you toys. You also both try to out scream each other, especially at the dinner table. You usually start the screaming, just to hear your voice I think, and then Gage joins in. We have some noisy mealtimes, that's for sure.

My heart could not be filled any fuller with love and joy for you. My cup runneth over sweet boy. My cup runneth over.

I will be loving you and holding tight to you for the rest of my days. As I tell Gage, I love you more than the stars in the sky! You are a joy and a blessing. How I thank the Lord for you!

Loving you always,

Monday, October 18, 2010

Updates on Everyone

Gage's illness went away almost immediately after starting antibiotics - wahoo! He still has a little runny nose sometimes, but he is doing great. (knock on wood)

Eli did not have an ear infection when we took him in that Friday afternoon. Just a bad cold we determined. However, while Mommy was many miles away, the dreaded ear infection did strike a few days later and he was miserable. Craig and the boys were at Gma & Gpa E's in Davenport while I was in Iowa City with my dad. As his symptoms grew they took him to the Urgent Care and confirmed it was a double ear infection. What timing! A week later he is still not 100%, and is just starting to get better. Poor baby!

Craig miraculously got in to see the orthopedic doctor that Friday! It was answered prayer, we're sure of it. The MRI revealed 2 bulging discs and one herniated disc. The doctor always relies surgery as a last resort, hallelujah! He gave Craig a steroid shot and some steroid medication, with orders to rest as much as possible. A cortisone shot is coming soon! We're praying that his body will heal itself and no surgery will be needed!

My dad...
He is recovering at the Iowa City VA hospital after an extensive 12 hour back surgery. I met him in Iowa City on Monday evening and we went out to dinner and spent some good time together. We were both up at 3:45am the next morning to be at the hospital an hour later. "Hurry up and wait" was the motto for us that morning...He wasn't checked in by a nurse until 6:00am, then taken to surgery at 8:30am. My throat closed and I could barely get the words out when it was time to say goodbye. I was amazed at how relaxed and calm he was and I didn't want to mess that up! So I gave him a quick hug and told him everything was going to go great. The OR nurse could see that I was struggling and she quietly told me with a smile that they would take good care of him.

I waited comfortably in the surgery waiting room working on my laptop and doing my Bible study and even met up with an old friend! (Long story short- through updates on FB that morning I found out an old friend who I knew worked in Iowa City, actually worked on the 2nd floor of the VA hospital! So she came up to see me during her lunch break. What a surprise blessing!)

I received an update from the OR at around 2:30pm that everything was "going great"! They anticipated a few more hours of surgery. At 6:00pm I was starting to get restless. I found out that everything was still "going great" but it would be another 2-3 hours until they were finished. I left to get some fresh air and something to eat. I hurried back to the waiting room, only to wait another 3 hours. I was starting to worry and panic. Is it safe for him to be sedated that long? I called the OR in tears and found out that they were "closing" him up and I could wait in the ICU waiting area where I would see them wheel his bed down.

At 11:15pm, alone, exhausted, and so emotional, I finally got to see my dad. I saw him get wheeled right past me, but I didn't notice the tube down his throat and I didn't see how swollen his face was until I went into his room. I immediately started sobbing. The nurse put a hand on my arm and assured me that he was fine. Being face down for 12 hours would do that to a person! They weren't going to take the breathing tube out because they needed him fully awake for that and they wanted him to rest through the night.

I couldn't sleep very well that night. I had a room at the Heartland Inn down the street. It was so lonely being there by myself, and I couldn't get the post-surgery image of my dad out of my head. When I got to his room the next morning he was just starting to wake. He was cringing in pain and was confused. I was right next to his bed talking calmly and letting him know I was there. He started opening his eyes and was mouthing "help me" and "I can't breathe" to me. I couldn't take it! I was trying to have a relaxing and happy face for him but I just couldn't stop crying. He had to go through that until he was fully awake. They wanted to make sure he could breathe just fine on his own when they removed the tube. We all (the nurses, respiratory therapist, aides...) breathed a huge sigh of relief when they got the go-ahead and removed the tube.

My strength returned full force when my dad could now breathe on his own, talk to me, and even smile! Just a few hours later when the nurse offered him a cup of coffee, he smiled big time! He was cracking me up with his "loopiness" (like looking at the clock thinking it said 4:30 all the time "Something just isn't right" he'd say). By 6:30pm when Craig and the boys were there to get me, Dad was doing well. He was very sleepy so I felt ok about leaving. Oh I couldn't wait to see the other favorite men in my life! But I was torn. I had been my dad's "little mother" for the past few days and I felt so close to him. I have really felt like such a mother to him as I have called every day, sometimes twice a day, asking questions and informing the nurses on various things about him. I want them to think, wow that girl really loves her dad. And more importantly, I just hope my dad knows that.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Bad Backs and Ear Infections

Life has been a little gloomy in the Engelbrecht house lately. Gage had his second ear infection in his life this week. The signs started showing Saturday night when he felt warm to me. Fever on Sunday and then to the doctor on Monday where it was confirmed. A double ear infection in fact.

I just hate it when my kids are sick. Hate it hate it hate it. Now I understand when my dad would always say he wished he could trade places with me when I was sick growing up.

The good news for Gage is that on Wednesday he woke up his happy and talkative little self. I was overjoyed! The bad news for Eli is that now he is showing signs of something... No fever, but runny nose and fussiness. So this afternoon we are headed back to the doctor.

Did I mention that I hate it when my kids are sick? Hate it hate it hate it!

On another note, Craig has been miserable with a sore back which is causing pain and numbness down his leg and foot. He has been miserable for weeks now. Finally had an MRI yesterday. He missed the phone call with the results in the late afternoon but received the message that they are referring him on to an orthopedic doctor. The orthopedic doctor is in surgery and not seeing patients today. The doctor and nurse with the MRI results are out today so we can't even know more than "there is an abnormality"... AND we have plans to head out of town on Sunday for a few days, so now Craig won't get any relief until next Thursday at the earliest, which is already booked for him at work because he is gone Monday through Wednesday.


I have been needing to get that off my chest all day! This whole situation is so frustrating. It is so hard not having a fully functioning helper. I am struggling with feeling compassion for him and feeling frustrated at the same time. I am scared to think of what the future holds...back surgery? chronic back pain/problems? I have been pleading with God to make him well. I know that He can. I still struggle.

The reason we are going out of town is because my dad is having major back surgery in Iowa City on Tuesday. Ironic huh? Craig and the boys will be in nearby Davenport with Grandma and Grandpa E. I will be with my dad on Monday night through Wednesday for moral support. I am also very worried and concerned about him getting through the surgery and beyond. He lives alone and is not in the best of health. I have been pleading with God to make him well. I know that He can. I still struggle.

So that is what has been going on in the Engelbrecht household. I am not usually one to vent on my blog (it's been a long time anyway - since those ugly "Dark Days of Colic..."!). The truth of the matter is, it is so hard to have things out of my control. The boys' illnesses, Craig's back, my dad's health. I cannot make any of it better and it kills me. It is so hard to watch things happen and not be able to do anything about it.

But I know that I can control the attitude I have, the love and kindness I show, and the prayer and praise that I give to my Lord who is in control. But sometimes a person just needs to vent...